Iona and I moved from London to Leeds in 1995. That New Years Eve we went to see ‘Red Snapper‘ play at the cockpit in Leeds. We got in on the guest list as one of Iona’s best friends from her Uni days ‘Nick Strasburg’ knew the band and he was doing a bit of Roadie-ing for them and got us in. Nick used to play with ‘The Aloof‘ on their live dates but has now forsaken the music industry for a career in photography.
The band were lovely blokes and the gig was fabulous with Richard Thair’s driving drums and Ali Friend’s sublime double bass stealing the show. We stepped out of the club and into 1996 feeling on a real high.
Unfortunately, by 1997 we were going through a prolonged and agonising break up and I was at an all time low. In an attempt to cheer me up, Sledge took it upon himself to take me to Glastonbury – what a guy! I know I wasnt much company that week end – I remember lying in my tent, staring up at the canvas for hours not being able to sleep – just worried, with a stomach churning will-she-won’t-she type scenario going over and over in my mind. I was a real mess – but knowing there are people in the world like Sledge looking out for you is what keeps you going.
Anyway, Beth Orton played in the Acoustic tent that year. She’d co-wrote and appeared on a Red Snapper single before she had a recording contract and Ali Friend played (double) bass on her wonderful Trailer Park LP. Ali Friend was also her (double) bass player live too and did a wonderful job. I fell in love with her that day. So bright and sunny and obviously getting off on it all – she knocked me off my feet for a while.
All of her songs resonated with how I was feeling. The chorus to ‘Someones Daughter‘ particularly stuck with me that day – wanting to tell people what was going on but not feeling able to – and it’s still my favourite of hers
“I want to shout about it, but I keep quiet about it
I want to laugh about it, but I don’t joke about it
Want to live without it, but I can’t do without it”
Bob the Chiropodist